Posted 20 hours ago

Kingdom by the Sea (Essential Modern Classics) (Collins Modern Classics)

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Harry is a 12 year old boy who 'loses' his parent and ends up finding a dog who accompanies him in his journey. Numb and disoriented, he evades the authorities and makes his way to the beach, where he is befriended by Don, a stray dog. He finds the English hated the Japanese for being rich overachievers and for being guiltless racists. I have been to quite a few of the places mentioned, so it was interesting to see how much (or how little) they have changed, over three decades later. Theroux rather likes the Welsh, has a lot of sympathy and understanding for the Northern Irish and can get on with at least some Scots.

This book provokes a lot of negative reactions: I can see why, though as a non-native I don't share the outrage. With Theroux, you get the increasing sense that he hates all British people, for reasons never fully described. The grandfather said, "Aah used to reckon they were mad, leaving the door unlocked when they weren't here, and that notice on the table. And the sandwiches put him one meal away from worry; today, he would not have to think about food, with that huge breakfast inside him that made even burping a pleasure, for it brought back the tastes of porridge and bacon and egg and marmalade.In his assessment, Ulster as a society was frightening at first, then inconvenient, then annoying, then maddening, and ultimately a bore. However, he's amongst the best for idiosyncratic, personal, impressionistic relation, and the miserable old git persona very well suited indeed to the time and place he describes in The Kingdom by the Sea. But the moment he turned his steps towards home, the truth came back to him; the burning pile of bricks. I wish I’d read this book when I was a lot younger, it has the power to really change a younger one’s view of what we have and what we don’t always have. This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising.

Theroux's journey was further reduced when he decided to explore Britain by a land journey round the coast. His perception of the kingdom of the sea may be a partial one, and in my view jaundiced, but it makes a stimulating book for all that.In the Scottish city of Aberdeen, he finds the oil industry almost entirely manned by young single men with no hobbies. I believe this book is based in part on Westall's own childhood memories of the war growing up in South Shields area. I found his account of Ulster fascinating, if marred by complete lack of historical background replaced by a bizarre theory about family roles, and the description of desolate grandeur of Sutherland made me want to go there immediately.

The cover may have some limited signs of wear but the pages are clean, intact and the spine remains undamaged. Britain has always been defined by the sea, he says, and no place in the kingdom is more than 85 miles from the ocean.He starts in Margate after an eventful train trip down there and clockwise he goes taking in Cornwall, Wales, Liverpool, Northern Ireland (troubles are still going), Scotland and many places in-between and beyond. I saw a prosperous and richer UK in 2016, with even the small towns looking well-heeled and booming. I can't imagine anyone not liking this book as it is such a good story and so well written and not just for kids / teens. He went through another gate, over the top of another air-raid shelter, through a hedge that scratched him horribly … on, and on, and on.

Westall's 1975 novel The Machine Gunners, about a group of children in England during World War II, inspired many letters from readers who had themselves been children during the war. English people of a certain class often said things like this, taking a satisfaction in the certainty of death, because dying was a way of avoiding the indignity of what they imagined to be a grim future. So, I had hoped to escape into this book and temporarily avoid thinking about the current disaster of American politics.The setting is Tyneside during World War II, but the theme is timeless - a child alone in the adult world, living off his wits and learning how to survive on his own. The Kingdom by the Sea is a story of Harry finding out that his family got caught in the bombing and didn't survive. First, this means he avoids major British cities, including London, Newcastle, Manchester, Oxbridge, etc. It was not a question of seismic shocks, but rather a steadier kind of erosion -- like the seemingly changeless and consoling tide, in which there was always, in its push and pull, slightly more loss than gain.

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